It was not until Manes admitted from his
hospital bed that the wounds were self – inflicted that the pieces began to fall into place.
The question (and to this day, it has not been
answered) is what Manes was doing during the seven hours between the
time he left a party at Borough Hall and the time he was found on the
Grand Central Parkway. That question would be clouded by the tragic news
of the months to come....(See page 61)
Here is some of the news thrown on the
backburner in the month of January:
Astoria’s Peter Vallone
was elected vice chairman and majority leader of the City Council by one
vote, thanks to some political maneuvering by Manes and the defection of
Manhattan City Councilman Robert Dryfoos from his borough’s
delegation...the Board of Estimate approved a 275-bed facility to house
the homeless in Long Island City.
A fight would ensue that has yet to be resolved...
In February, Donald
Manes decided to step aside
temporarily as borough president and Democratic county leader, giving
way to Claire Shulman and
respectively. One of Sabini’s first orders of business was to fire Richard
Rubin, then Executive Secretary of the County Organization. At the time, Rubin
was suspected of receiving kickbacks for court-ordered guardianship
assignments. He was later indicted.
Protests heated up around what would
become Queens’ first skyscraper, a 50-story building in Long Island
On Feb. 12, Manes
said goodbye to the borough he had served for 12 years. He resigned both
his posts, saying “I cannot ask the people I serve to wait for me
while I devote whatever energies I have to my problems rather than
The following week, the City Council
interviewed nearly 30 candidates for borough president in an
unprecedented open hearing....
Former State Supreme Court Justice William Brennan was
sentenced to five years in federal prison for accepting bribes...Justice
Harold Hyman upheld the
City’s case-by-case procedure for allowing a child with AIDS into
public school classrooms...New York Times copy editor David
Kramer won the 26th Assembly District seat in a special election, but his tenure
The Ides of March proved fateful for Donald Manes. On Thursday
evening, March 13, Manes took his own life with a kitchen knife while on
the phone with his psychiatrist, Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz, who two months
earlier had said the invocation at Manes’ inauguration and would be
one of the eulogists at his funeral, which was attended by 500 mourners.
The suicide followed the revelation earlier in
the month that Manes’ crony Geoffrey Lindenauer
had been indicted on 39 counts of extortion and mail fraud. A former
deputy director a the Parking Violations Bureau, Lindenauer’s was the
first indictment to come out of several sweeping federal, state and city
investigations...Just before Manes’ suicide, Claire Shulman
was made the City Council’s choice for Borough President and offered
only a “maybe’ when asked if she will run for re-election....
In April, almost one month after Donald
Manes’ tragic death, Queens would lose yet another of its veteran
officials. The dean of the New York City congressional delegation, Rep.
Joseph Addabbo, Sr. died
at the age of 61 after secretly fighting cancer for six years. At his
funeral at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, House Speaker Thomas “Tip”
O’Neill remembered Addabbo: “From the staff in the coat room to the
fella who drove the cab to the airport – Joe Addabbo loved and cared
for people.” His death would open a prolonged battle for his seat in
Congress, which he had held for 26 years...The City Department of
Investigations admitted it was looking into a $180,000 debt owed by the
dormant Queens Theater in the Park
to several creditors, including the federal government...A five member
team headed by the Jonathon Woodner and Zeckendorf companies was chosen
by the City to develop a $95 million commercial and residential complex
on the site of the Flushing Municipal Parking Lot...Plans
were announced for a $75 million office tower behind Borough Hall in Kew Gardens.